In the News – August 21

The Latest News The Policy Circle Team is Reading

We’ve gathered articles, videos and analysis to dive-deeper into timely topics about the policy issues and opportunities that impact us all. Explore below and if you have additional news you think we should share, send us an email.

UAE-Israel Agreement

In May, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to annex parts of the West Bank beginning in July. But by July, annexation plans had not begun. Instead, August saw the White House release a joint statement with the United Arab Emirates and Israel, announcing an agreement between the neighboring countries to normalize diplomatic relations, and that plans to annex the West Bank are, at least for now, off the table. 

The agreement, known as the Abraham Accord, has been called “a landmark accord,” and rightfully so: it will make the UAE only the third Arab country to formalize diplomatic relations with Israel, and the first to do so in over 25 years. Israel has long sought to increase the number of neighboring Arab nations that recognize and have relationships with it, but disagreements between Arab states and Israel over the treatment of Palestinians have prevented peace. These tensions are why many outright oppose the recently announced plan, which does not address remaining conflicts between Israel and Palestine. 

So what exactly does this mean?

In the short term, the nations will be able to open embassies and have ambassadors, allow flights and tourism, deepen trading agreements and business relations, and foster strategic cooperation against regional threats – specifically Iran. In the long term, it could open the door for other Arab states to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, which could in turn present an opportunity for renewed negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

From the first inkling at a 2018 dinner in Washington, D.C. to August’s announcement, The New York Times podcast breaks down how this happened, how it changes the dynamic of the entire region, and what challenges remain. For more on the Middle East and the role of the U.S., read The Policy Circle’s brief:

Women’s Suffrage on Purpose: Circle Leader Dee Dee Bass Wilbon writes on the Suffrage Anniversary for SWSM Magazine

Canvassers demand answers after 72% of Detroit’s absentee ballot counts were off – highlighting the need for poll workers

Both of the Policy Circle’s 2019 Leadership Summit keynote speakers named to USAToday’s “Women of the Century” List. Explore the full list.

Nancy Brinker named to USAToday’s “Women of the Century” Florida list

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green name to “Women of the Century” Alabama list

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